Interesting Cities to Visit in Nepal


Kathmandu is the country's vibrant capital, known for its religious monuments and monasteries, where a tourist can find practically everything from hotels, restaurants, clubs to cultural places. The locals are well adapted to tourists and visitors, they are courteous and welcoming, and the city itself is organized well. It is the city you will likely fly to, and upon arrival, you will be greeted by hilly, green landscape and Himalayas forming a curtain in the far distance. The LGBTQ+ scene of Katmandu is based in Thamel, a buzzing tourist district fueled with an active nightlife. You can try bars like Pink Tiffany, Purple Haze Rock Bar or Fire.


Pohkara is a smaller but popular tourist destination known mainly for being a hub right below the Annapurna range in the Himalayas. The city is popular thanks to its fascinating lakes reflecting the mountains and its colourful tiny boats in which you can relax and enjoy the view. Close to the eastern side of Phewa Lake one can find yoga centres and restaurants. If you choose to trek in the Annapurna region, this will likely be your first stop from Kathmandu.


Lumbini is a pilgrimage site for Buddhists in the Rupandehi District of Lumbini Province in Nepal. This is where Queen Maya Devi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama around 563 BCE. Gautama attained Enlightenment sometime around 528 BCE and became the Buddha. It is one of many pilgrimage attractions that sprang up in places focal to the life of the Buddha.
Lumbini is a pilgrimage site for Buddhists in the Rupandehi District of Lumbini Province in Nepal. This is where Queen Maya Devi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama around 563 BCE. Gautama attained Enlightenment sometime around 528 BCE and became the Buddha. It is one of many pilgrimage attractions that sprang up in places focal to the life of the Buddha.


Chitwan National Park is one of Nepal's best-known tourist destinations. There are two primary entrances to Chitwan National Park: Sauraha in the east and Meghauli Village in the west. Established in 1973 and given World Heritage Site status in 1984, it was the country’s first national park. Located in the subtropical inner Terai lowlands of south-central Nepal in the districts of Nawalpur, Parsa, Chitwan and Makwanpur, it covers an area of 952.63 km2 (367.81 sq mi). The altitude of Chitwan ranges from about 100 m (330 ft) in the river valleys to 815 m (2,674 ft) in the Churia Hills. The Narayani and Rapti river system forms a natural boundary to the north and west of the protected area.

Interesting Attractions to Visit in Nepal


Starting a trek in this famous region, you can experience the world's tallest mountains firsthand and push your limits a little in the high altitude. The Annapurna region is a popular route where you experience the range of biodiversity and sleep in cozy teahouses, likely meeting other trekkers who will gladly share their life stories. Although many tourists have targeted the trek, it still can be a life-changing experience. There also are several alternatives for an off-the-beaten-path journey not found in any guidebook to see the true tourist-free wilderness.


Chitwan is the first national park in Nepal, stretching over an area of 932 square kilometres. You can view rare flora and fauna on a jungle safari or choose canoeing on the lakes and rivers to observe wildlife in its natural habitat. 


As a symbol of Tibetan Buddhism built in the 5th century A.D., the colossal stupa is regarded as one of the world's biggest stupas. In the past, Tibetans came from the surrounding areas after the Chinese invasion of Tibet and energized it. The place becomes alive with chanting monks and creaking prayer wheels. The atmosphere lightens up with the scent of zest, and in the late evening, the place gets even more vivid as hundreds of little lights turn on and create a romantic atmosphere.


In the middle of tall mountains and evergreen ambient forests, rushing rivers provide an adrenaline rush. There are several options depending on the time you want to spend on a river, but it is advised to book the whole day for the adventure. One of the most famous places is the Bhote Kosi River, which has more serious rapids, and many of the trips take two days, including a sleepover in tents.


There is also a fantastic possibility to try bungee jumping just outside of Pokhara if you dare. The jump itself offers an astonishing view of the mountains and rivers. Another possibility to get a good view of the mountains is zip flying past the Annapurna hills covering almost two kilometres!

Gastronomy Guide

Although Nepalese cuisine is not as well-known as our giant neighbours India and China, it is a milder version of Indian food. It has also adapted some Tibetan and Chinese cuisine. Since Nepal has a variety of regions with different ethnic backgrounds, no matter where you go, you will always find something new. Dal bhat is a dish that never gets old, made of rice and lentil soup. A lesser known one from the Newari community, Newari Khaja, is a between-meal snack plate with a mini smorgasbord of dishes (veggie, meats, rice) that was traditionally consumed on special occasions. Another popular cultural specialty is gundruk, consisting of pickled leafy vegetables and a vital source of minerals. 

A must-try dish as well is steamed or fried momo dumplings. You can find these in every corner, and they come in many delicious varieties. Nepalese people have a healthy diet, consisting primarily of organic, vegetable-based superfood, and many spices and herbs are used for cooking. Like in most developing nations, almost every part of an animal is eaten. Nepal also has many restaurants, cafes, pubs, and discos in the main cities of Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Sauraha, a town near Chitwan National Park that draws many tourists.

Safety Considerations for LGBTQ visitors to Nepal

Nepal has its arms open to people from the LGBTQ+ community, and travellers should not experience any homophobia. The Nepalese Constitution recognizes the rights of the LGBTQ+ community as fundamental rights. It has been moving in a positive direction since a 2007 Supreme Court decision requiring the government to identify a third gender category and audit its LGBTQ+ policies. Same-sex marriage, though, was discussed but hasn't moved forward, and there is significant pressure to conform and marry a partner of the opposite sex. Upon visiting, one must acknowledge that Nepal is still a conservative nation, and intimate affections still cause uneasiness amongst the locals. However, the younger Nepalese are more expressive, and they dress in Western clothing in the cities and towns.

LGBTQ+ Travel Tips & Events

There is an increasing number of small boutique hotels designed to reflect the cultural heritage through artistic architecture. They also differentiate themselves by providing modern amenities blended tastefully with artisanal crafts and environmentally sensitive designs.

In Kathmandu, you can visit upscale lounges, bars, nightclubs, and other venues, some of which were started by the LGBTQ+ community. In addition, Nepal is home to many colourful religious festivals during which life is celebrated, such as Tihar or Dashain. Tihar, for example, is a festival of lights where the country submerges in all the shades of orange. It is never a bad option to join these colourful festivals and celebrate with the locals. For LGBTQ+ specific events, check out the pride event around August/September or the Nepal Queer MOGAI Pride Parade at the end of June.

About the author 

This guide was written by Raj from Responsible Adventures which offers Boutique Himalayan Experiences. They're a leader in innovative, boutique adventure tours that are transformational with unparalleled services.

Image credit: Responsible Adventures.